There are a few musts when it comes to Google+—let's call them 'the rules of engagement'. And within those rules of engagement are 5 guidelines you must follow in order to utilize the platform like an expert. Don’t worry though: you’ll be a pro in no time.
- Listen in order to be heard.
Seems intuitive enough. But lots of people use Google+ as a platform to yell from the proverbial rooftops… and, well, it’s just not meant for that. Google+ is much more like Facebook than it is, say, Twitter or Instagram, in the sense that people use it to communicate quite comprehensively with one another. It's not nearly as much of a one-way street as Twitter or Instagram (for the latter, read: post a picture, get likes, maybe receive and respond to a few comments—but that last part isn't even really necessary).
Google+ is a whole other ball game. It's slanted towards the reader, not the publisher. So if you don't have anything to say that will make people want to connect—as the old adage goes: don't say anything at all! Or, in this case, when it comes to social... find another platform.
- Curated posts are king.
To jump off of bullet number one, you need to have legitimately interesting, conversation-piquing posts if you want to either gain a following or any sort of community on Google+. That said, be careful how much you comment on others' posts. While it’s similar in some sense, this isn't Facebook, need we remind you. Discussion, while encouraged, is not exactly the point of Google+ in the public forum. While the platform is built around your real-life social connections, the G-Chat feature exists to keep things personal when they need to be. And anyhow, people love personal messages! Often times, what you have to say will be better received when sent directly to its intended.
- Low hanging fruit is your friend.
This one might seem a little obvious, but for some people, the low hanging fruit of social often falls by the wayside. Don't be afraid to follow those people with 150,000 followers. Do you know how many other Google+ users look at their list of followers every day? Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. You're bound to get seen by at least one, if not ten or twenty of them! On the same token, don't forget to search for smaller crowds whose circles you could become a part. Before you know it you’ll be part of a hangout you didn’t even know existed.
- Read existing posts. A lot.
You can’t know what’s hot and what’s not if you’re just writing about what you think is interesting. There’s a whole lot more out there than just what’s coming into your brain! Read existing posts and see what other sort of content is of the moment, and tailor what you have to say to that. It's pretty simple. That's far and away the easiest way to get people to reach out—by speaking to them without speaking at them. Savvy?
- Get creative in different communities.
Posting the same link to something you find cool or novel to different communities is silly—and more than that, it’s a colossal waste of time. The chances of your single link sparking conversation in every community in which you post is very low. So get creative. See a trend in one community and post accordingly. For instance, if you’re a digital marketing company like us, you’ll probably look towards some of the top digital marketers in the field—look at what they’re posting. Then, once you've got some people on the line, stick around. Don't just post and jet—interact. And like we said earlier, if things get to be more than just a simple 'this is what I thought', or 'great post!' think about bringing it out of the public forum.
If you still have questions about how to use Google+ and what to use it for, be sure to check out this site. It’ll give you all the background on this very cool and intuitive platform, and present you with a step-by-step way of learning the ropes. And, as an added bonus, just in case you needed more reason to get going with Google+… it’s worth mentioning that engagement on Google+ aids in upping your Google ranking for websites and pages. What more could you possibly want out of a social platform?
Can-Do Ideas is a Digital Marketing agency specializing in Inbound Marketing and Inbound Sales. We are located in New York City and Connecticut.